Our history: February 1954

Our Feb. 18, 1954 issue contained some advertisements for seed dressing that would raise a few eyebrows today, including this one for products containing mercury and lindane. Another advertisement for Tritisan seed treatment did not mention the active ingredient, but the claims of being “non-poisonous” and “gloves and goggles not necessary” may have been questionable.

The issue marked the passing of Agnes MacPhail, Canada’s first woman member of Parliament. A one-time country schoolteacher, she was elected in 1921 as a representative of the Progressive Party of Canada for the riding of Grey Southeast in Ontario. She was later part of the faction of the Progressive Party that later led to the formation of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). She was later elected as a representative of the United Farmers of Ontario. After her defeat in 1940, she wrote agricultural columns for the Globe and Mail, and rejoined the Ontario CCF in 1942 becoming its farm organizer.

“Miss MacPhail paved the way for other Canadian women to contribute their talents that all may share,” said Co-operator’s editor Q.H. (Quincy) Martinson in his editorial that week.

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